Migrating SBS2011 data to a new SBS 2011 Installation


I have a physical SBS2011 server and need to move it to new Hyper-V environment. I have attempted two migration methods (1) Disk2Vhd (2) Restoring Windows Server backup to virtual machine via image restore.
But so far, each method has its own challenges. In other words, none of these worked out seamlessly so far in test environment.
Therefore I am considering the following.
(1) Do a complete Installation of SBS2011 as a virtual machine.
(2) On new SBS VM, create users and share folders from the scratch based on what we have on production server. Set permissions and match IP address and domain name .. etc. I will keep this VM separately from existing network.
(3) Do a complete Windows Server backup of production SBS2011 on network share (this might be faster that backing up on an external USB hard drive in terms of backup & restore time).
(4) Export exchange mailboxes into PST files using single Exchange shell command (unless you believe that it is better to create PST from outlook on each user’s outlook from accuracy standpoint).
(5) Disjoin all workstations from production SBS server and disconnect SBS server  from the network.
(6) Connect Hyper-V server and new SBS VM to the network.
(7) Restore files and folders from the server backup stored on the network share.
(8) Using Exchange shell command, import PST files into corresponding mailboxes. (or I could import PST into Outlook on each workstation PC. There are only 20 PCs)
(9) Set permissions on folders on new SBS.
(10) Join workstation PCs to the new domain.
(11) Copy old user profile (C:\users\old_username_folder\*.*) into newly created profile folder (C:\users\new_username_folder\*.*) on each PC.
(12) add local & network Printers.

That’s is all I can think for now. If I am missing something or if there is an easier way to restore mailboxes or set folder permissions as I restore from the windows server backup, I would appreciate your suggestions.

Even though I know creating new SBS is going to be more time-consuming than two other methods that I tried, one thing that is good about this method is that I can start a fresh new SBS server without any errors in Event viewer. In current production server, there are a ton of error messages both in an application and system section of event viewer and I will not have time to troubleshoot these errors although they do not seem to create any problems in day-to-day operation.

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James BunchSystems EngineerCommented:
Here are some notes. You have the gist of it and almost what I would do except the following.

(5) Disjoin all workstations from production SBS server and disconnect SBS server  from the network.
Do not disconnect the production server from the network. Go ahead and join the new domain on the workstations but leave this one in place. Make sure that the new server AD "Login Script" does not have any old server information. The reason to keep this old production server live is to map network drives from the new VM server to the old Production server. Leave this in place for a week or so after the migration so that if you are missing any network resources, data files etc, you can easily tunnel into the old server and retrieve them from any workstation/remote tool you have. Otherwise you will have to use the tried and true sneakernet version which sucksssssss..

(8) Using Exchange shell command, import PST files into corresponding mailboxes. (or I could import PST into Outlook on each workstation PC. There are only 20 PCs)
The .PST files are a good idea if you are using POP for email setups or if they have offline personal folders. However if you are using a cloud based host like Google Apps/G Suite and are using IMAP, you don't really need the .PST files because the IMAP will sync it all back. Go ahead and create the .PST files and put them on the system in case something goes wrong, but this is usually avoidable. ***Make sure you export the .CSV files for contacts, also make sure to make a copy of the Autostream files for autofill. Check this link for migrating them to the new outlook profile. https://blog.zensoftware.co.uk/2014/05/29/how-to-copy-the-auto-complete-information-to-a-new-outlook-profile/ Now this is very unreliable at times so before you do any renaming of the files in the new profile, make sure you create a temp folder to put the old AutoStream-GUID file in there and just copy it from there. Keep this as a backup until certain it works because if you lose it, you lose it. I cannot stress this enough, windows will auto delete it in the new profile somtimes..... BACK IT UP on desktop.

(11) Copy old user profile (C:\users\old_username_folder\*.*) into newly created profile folder (C:\users\new_username_folder\*.*) on each PC.
Make sure that you tick the "Show Hidden Files" in the users profile before copying. The app data sometimes has viable data that needs to be brought over to the new profile as well.

(12) add local & network Printers.
This should only have to be done on the new server. The workstations should keep the printers installed on them unless you remove them prior to the change.

One to add: I would make sure you copy the Login Script batch file from the old server and just edit the UNC pathing for the "Net use A:/ \\server\directory\file" because chances are you will have the same structuring or similar for network resources and you can easily modify these by changing the server name on each mapped drive. Store the file in the Sysvol location (where you got it from on the old server). Put this in the profile of each user that you need mapped drives on. If you need specific maps for different types of users you can make copies a lot quicker. Below is an example of a batch file I deployed today for a new server deployement doing almost exactly what you are here. Location for my scripts on a 2016 server OS are C:\Windows\SYSVOL\sysvol\CTS.net\scripts

rem \\CTSSERVER\Clients\Setup\setup.exe /s CTSSERVER


net use G: /delete
net use P: /delete
net use Z: /delete

net use G: \\cts-vsrv\clientApps\goldmine
net use Z: \\cts-vsrv\afiles
net use P: \\cts-vsrv\clientapps\sage\peachtree\company

rem pause

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sgleeAuthor Commented:
This is SBS network and you can not have two SBS boxes on the same network simultaneously. Besides I mention that I like to keep the same IP address and computer name in the new SBS VM.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
SBS is really finicky when it comes to restoring to different hardware or VM because it associates NIC GUIDs with service structures.

The best method is to use the Hardware Independent Restore (HIR) feature in StorageCraft ShadowProtect. Extract Hyper-V Integration Services to a folder that is accessible by the ShadowProtect Recovery Environment and capture using HIR.

The next step afterwards is the most painful: Boot and wait. Wait for every *?#)~Q! service to time-out. It takes a while. A long while. But, be patient.

Once the boot finishes, Start --> NCPA.CPL [ENTER] and verify the vNIC is present. Set up the IPv4 IP structures APPLY & OK. Go back in and set the Gateway again as it won't be there otherwise (yes, it needs to be set twice).

Run the first Getting Started Tasks wizard to set the IP structure then the next one (Connect to the Internet?) and finally reseat the third party trusted certificate using the wizard.

We are migrating our last SBS 2011 to our Small Business Solution (SBS ;) ) stack in the coming weeks. I'm glad to see it go as SBS has always been a lot of grief to restore off original hardware.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
The other method is to join a DC to the existing SBS domain, make sure everything is there, transfer FSMO Roles, and finally flatten and re-install SBS in Migration Mode. Use the same name as the original SBS (make sure to clean up AD, Sites, and DNS prior).

Once the newly migrated in SBS is online forklift the existing Exchange database(s) back in. Done.
Michael LinkInfrastructure EngineerCommented:
Can I just ask; WHY OH WHY are you sticking with SBS?!!!!

I would strongly advise moving on to a more modern OS platform!
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Microsoft has created a migration guide for exactly this situation
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